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The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

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The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Old 02-21-13, 11:17 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

All this talk about girls seeking husbands reminds me that I saw PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940) yesterday for this challenge. It's all about a mother trying to get her five daughters married off--even when they don't want to be! I was fascinated by the way words and language are used when talking to different people and different classes of people and to veil real meanings when trying to make those meanings clear to people to whom you can't just come out and say what you really mean. And how Elizabeth Bennet, the oldest daughter (played by Greer Garson) negotiates between love, desire, suitability and family needs, yet manages to win the right man in the end by staying true to herself through and through and bringing out the best in him. It's all just so beautifully written, acted and directed. (The co-writer of the screenplay was Aldous Huxley.) Hard to believe it only got one Oscar nomination (Art Direction). (Laurence Olivier, who plays Darcy, was nominated that year for another film, REBECCA, which took Best Picture over GRAPES OF WRATH. I watched REBECCA for last year's challenge and GRAPES for this year's. What a great period for Hollywood. Both Olivier and GRAPES' Henry Fonda lost out to Jimmy Stewart for PHILADELPHIA STORY, a victory that still baffles me.)

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Old 02-21-13, 12:05 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by ntnon
They certainly do - what I'm less sure about (i.e. don't agree with at all, despite the alleged skill of the claimants) is all this "internalising a subliminal message" stuff where the "message" is a pseudo-lit.crit. reading that often makes broad omissions and leaps in logic.
This is where I am on these things in general. Anyone can take any story and be able to come up with any sort of subliminal message or predictions of the future, whether or not any of it is true.

Not every story is created with the hidden meanings people think they have. A lot of outrage over issues seem to be certain groups with too much free time on their hands, that are only happy when they're complaining about things not falling into their line of thinking. The thing that bothers me most about those types of groups are that they say they want equality and all that, which is fine, but it's only equality if you follow their viewpoints. If you don't, then you're wrong.

I'm speaking in general and not about anyone specific in this thread.
Old 02-21-13, 12:19 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Snowpacalypse has hit our area so I have a day off. I'm torn between catching up on films for homework (Monkey Business, Scarface (1932), The Ghost Ship (1943), Trail of the Lonesome Pine) or watching more Oscar films. I only need to watch three more to complete my checklist and I'm not in the mood for lectures. What to do... what to do... more snow coming down...
Old 02-21-13, 01:12 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by ntnon
Huh. Thanks! I feel sure I must have peripherally known about that, now that you mention it, so that's interesting to read.


Sound of Music certainly has - noticed that today, and was quite surprised.

What purpose does it serve for a DVD release, I wonder...? If it was - if I understand correctly - a(n alternate) release, and not per se THE original format, then it's surely not done out of any desire to present the films as originally intended. Perhaps it's a completist thing - including the break allows for both Roadshow and (sort of) not-Roadshow releases to be out there, excising it would not.
It's more aimed at the "purist" who wants that release exactly as it was first presented. Typically those got the Roadshow treatment for a few months at best and then got edited down for distribution to "backwater" sections of the country. I think it's a nice way to get the DVD release of those films which received that treatment but typically skip those sections when watching the disk(s).
Old 02-21-13, 01:15 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by popcorn
Snowpacalypse has hit our area so I have a day off. I'm torn between catching up on films for homework (Monkey Business, Scarface (1932), The Ghost Ship (1943), Trail of the Lonesome Pine) or watching more Oscar films. I only need to watch three more to complete my checklist and I'm not in the mood for lectures. What to do... what to do... more snow coming down...
Those are four great movies--and not a lecture in any of them. This is a no-brainer to me, esp. if you haven't seen any of them before.
Old 02-21-13, 01:29 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
Those are four great movies--and not a lecture in any of them. This is a no-brainer to me, esp. if you haven't seen any of them before.
Oh, the lecture comes courtesy of my professor for each movie. I turned on Top Gun instead.
Old 02-21-13, 02:09 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by ntnon
When Worlds Collide and War of the Worlds - both enjoyable nonsense, with Collide being the stronger and more cohesive film. It also raised some interesting ethical questions (who should survive, and how many lies ought to be told to allow survival; should one be self-sacrificing and noble or cling to life, etc.) that I found to be reasonably well - if very briefly - mentioned. Both films won for Special Effects, two years apart. And neither had, I thought, particularly special effects...
You have to take into consideration the years in which those films were made and the general state of the effects industry for science fiction films. I still find both to have superb special effects.
Originally Posted by ntnon
Interesting fact: according to the Oscars.org database, both were unopposed in that category!
Yes, very interesting! But that was also true in 1952 when the drama Plymouth Adventure won. I also found it interesting that from 1946 to 2010 there were typically only 2 or 3 nominees per year. 1954 and 1955 had only 3 and up until that category was renamed in 1964 there were only 2 films per year that received the nomination. Even after the rename to "Special Visual Effects" there has typically been only 2 nominations per year until 1979 which saw 5. After that it was back to 2 or 3 per year until 2010.
Originally Posted by ntnon
I was amused by the minor line pointing out that the Martians took special care to invade Britain because they recognised it's strategically important place in the world...!
Being based on the H.G. Wells story from 1898 and he being British it's not surprising as the British Empire was the predominant colonial and military power on the globe when the novel was written. But you would have thought that line would possibly have been changed for the sensibilities and state of the world culture of the early 50s. After all, the main story was revised to take place in the U.S. and *not* in England as in the novel.
Old 02-21-13, 02:59 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by ntnon
She spends so long suffering in silence (oblivious? repressed?) that eventually she'd have snapped and killed them while they slept. Maybe.


HE doesn't, his old-fashioned Dad does. The Prince wants no part of it - he's clearly as disinterested/offended/annoyed by the whole thing as so many critics have been. He doesn't want to be there at all. Although he catches her eye immediately after she enters, making this a possibly gun-jumping thought, you can argue that neither of them really want to be in the situation at all. She's a bit baffled by it all, wary to enter; he's trying to escape from the parade of hopeful people (read: parents).

And this is surely another classic example of "another time, another set of norms" - the debutante's 'coming out' ball has fallen by the wayside, too. Which is arguably even worse - my daughter's (almost) old enough to marry: have at her!

[url=http://entertainment.time.com/2013/02/20/the-bachelor-watch-sean-tells-all/]How far we've come...
(I was about to make another sarcastic comment along the 'sure, blame Disney' lines, and then remembered who owns ABC...! Hm.)


I think there might be... I saw her just wanting to go to the ball. Nothing more or less. (Maybe I was distracted, though.) And she leaves him rather than clings to him - albeit because she has the sense to listen to the caveats put in place rather than by choice.


Ah, the mysterious benefactor! Omnipresent in their observing, often reticent in actual assistance.

I will say, though, that - ignoring the mice for convenience's sake - I did not remember that she DOES make her OWN dress first. It's not just a magical wave helping out the poor girl who can't help herself, it's the magical wave that rights a specific injustice: the stepsister's clothes-tearing.


We can't say that. She fairly clearly DOESN'T ask for that. She's pure and good and all those things, which means that she stays (sort of) devoted to the woman her father married, despite their foul treatment of her. Is that a sexist power fantasy - the woman who will cook and clean however much you demean her; or is that a picture of saintliness, which behaviour becomes a karmic lesson in 'do good, and good things happen'? (With the obvious caveats that the 'good thing' being marriage might undermine the message...)


Eh. You dress up for fancy occasions. I think that's over-reaching. (Indeed, on the flip side, the fact that he sends out a man with a shoe to bring back WHOMEVER it fits clearly show him to (sort of) not be at all hung up on looks.)


How is it a false image? Because in her daily life she wears drab cleaning clothes? Which she only wears because her stepmother is a b---h? Come on! She'd be wearing those clothes on a daily basis if her father were alive.

If cleaning and dressing is "selling a false image," then there's little reality anywhere in the world.


I'm not saying they can't, and I'm not saying they don't. I'm saying that first-and-foremost many small girls will see a frying pan and a horse; a teapot and a rose; a fish and a tail; a dress and a mouse. Not a sexist misogynistic fantasy filled with flighty, fainting, man-chasing shallowness. That's all!


Not irrelevant, not not-there, just not the be-all and end-all. I also reluctantly reject (in a limited, multi-caveated fashion) that it's JUST evil companies forcing these things (Princesses, pink things, dress-up and hair stuff; guns, tanks and trucks) on poor, unsuspecting children. It's the very essence of cause-and-effect.

(I know it's deviating a little from the point, but can I ask you, in your role as feminist theorist, what you think of Buffy and Xena..?)


But deliberate isn't (wholly) inaccurate, it's over-simplified. Deliberate isn't (necessarily) unwanted. Deliberate isn't necessarily insidious and problematic. The whole backlash over 'real' women being 'allowed' to wear make-up (etc.) as being as much a form of equality and freedom of choice sort of plays into this.

And, again, how does one legitimately depict 'the past' without being accused of sexism, racism and stereotyping (et al.)? You wind up with weird anachronisms and people taking cheap shots about sexual orientation that undermine the enjoyment that, after all, the medium should be allowed to be about.


If only I'd read that first, and could have automatically dismissed everything you wrote..!!

I don't mind either, really. But I do hate the (non-)name "Gus Gus".

This is a fascinating discussion and I'm finding myself leaning towards Ntnon's take on things. In a real-world parallel to all this, it was about 23 years ago when Donald Trump became newly single and every woman in the greater New York area who was single suddenly thought she had a chance to bag him. In their minds, he was Prince Charming ("the Donald") and each of them were Cinderella. I remember being at a family gathering and my newly-divorced cousin, then in her mid-to-late 30s, declared that "the Donald" was her kind of man, at which point her sister's husband, a blue-collar worker from New Jersey, took me aside and allowed as he was deeply offended by her remark. (She's since remarried and not to Trump, I daresay.)

The question I have for you guys is this: is there something biological about this phenomenon or is it strictly cultural? When women of a certain age and socioeconomic status complain about the dearth of available men in New York, for instance, what they really mean is a dearth of unmarried rich, successful and desirable men. The women comprise a growing pool that sets its sights on an ever-shrinking pool. Is this because they've been acculturated that way or because there's something inherently evolutionary psychological/biological about the way women seek mates?

I raised my daughter on a steady diet of Miyazaki and old Hollywood and Hong Kong movie heroines, in addition to the Disney stuff (which, admittedly, started much earlier) and she's always been into the princess thing and used to draw pictures and write stories with that theme when she'd just learned to draw and write. She was also into Barbie and wrote about the whole Barbie thing on her blog ("In Defense of Barbie"). At the same time, I took her to comic and anime conventions, which were largely male affairs back in the day and she learned how to move comfortably in a male environment. (She's never been in awe of men, although I think that comes from having me as a father.) She's also never shown any interest, as far as I can tell, in a Prince Charming type. (She's been with the same guy for 12 years.)
Old 02-21-13, 03:40 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Why blame Disney for much of this when they're just using stories that already existed and they just turned them into movies? Blame the original authors if someone wants to blame anyone.

Also, who wouldn't want to marry their prince/princess charming. There's a reason they're named that and people don't want to marry prince/princess jerkface.
Old 02-21-13, 03:45 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by ntnon
She spends so long suffering in silence (oblivious? repressed?) that eventually she'd have snapped and killed them while they slept. Maybe.
I'd go see that movie.

HE doesn't, his old-fashioned Dad does. The Prince wants no part of it - he's clearly as disinterested/offended/annoyed by the whole thing as so many critics have been. He doesn't want to be there at all.
He may be uncomfortable, but not so much that he actually rebels over it. At least Eric in The Little Mermaid complains. Charming just seems like they're interrupting his time for screwing off.

She's a bit baffled by it all, wary to enter; he's trying to escape from the parade of hopeful people (read: parents).
Surely, it was overwhelming to actually be there amid such luxury. Don't forget also that she was there as an impostor.

I think there might be... I saw her just wanting to go to the ball. Nothing more or less... And she leaves him rather than clings to him - albeit because she has the sense to listen to the caveats put in place rather than by choice.
She doesn't just leave him; she runs like hell because it's nearly midnight and she's terrified of being exposed for who she really is.

It's not just a magical wave helping out the poor girl who can't help herself, it's the magical wave that rights a specific injustice: the stepsister's clothes-tearing.
My point exactly: That's the specific injustice that the fairy godmother chooses to address?

She's pure and good and all those things, which means that she stays (sort of) devoted to the woman her father married, despite their foul treatment of her. Is that a sexist power fantasy - the woman who will cook and clean however much you demean her; or is that a picture of saintliness, which behaviour becomes a karmic lesson in 'do good, and good things happen'?
The suffering, rise-above-it angel is one of the basic paradigms of women in storytelling. The more she suffers and keeps her chin up, the more virtuous she is. It was perpetuated as much by women as by men so it's difficult to establish a patriarchal origin or slant to it, but it very clearly did establish an ideal for femininity. Traditionally, there's been far less demand placed on males to live up to such lofty ideals.

Eh. You dress up for fancy occasions. I think that's over-reaching. (Indeed, on the flip side, the fact that he sends out a man with a shoe to bring back WHOMEVER it fits clearly show him to (sort of) not be at all hung up on looks.)
He wants the woman he met who will fit the shoe. There's no reason for him to suspect that she's really normally a grungy shut-in. We go back to why she fled the scene. Keep in mind, their entire relationship is predicated on that one dance at the ball. If it was strong enough to lead to their Happily Ever After, why didn't she recognize that it was safe to actually be herself before him?

How is it a false image? Because in her daily life she wears drab cleaning clothes? Which she only wears because her stepmother is a b---h? Come on! She'd be wearing those clothes on a daily basis if her father were alive.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda...didn't.

If cleaning and dressing is "selling a false image," then there's little reality anywhere in the world.
It's not that. It's that she presented herself as above her station, to use an antiquated phrase.

Not irrelevant, not not-there, just not the be-all and end-all. I also reluctantly reject (in a limited, multi-caveated fashion) that it's JUST evil companies forcing these things (Princesses, pink things, dress-up and hair stuff; guns, tanks and trucks) on poor, unsuspecting children. It's the very essence of cause-and-effect.
I never argued that Disney or any other company is "evil" or insidious for circulating those kinds of norms in their stories. They're a reflection of the taste of the public at any given time. During wartime, we get stories about heroism on the battlefield. In peacetime, we get stories about the folly of war. So it goes.

(I know it's deviating a little from the point, but can I ask you, in your role as feminist theorist, what you think of Buffy and Xena..?)
If/when I ever get around to watching them, I'll let you know!

If only I'd read that first, and could have automatically dismissed everything you wrote..!!
That's why I saved it for last! :P
Old 02-21-13, 05:13 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers
Why blame Disney for much of this when they're just using stories that already existed and they just turned them into movies? Blame the original authors if someone wants to blame anyone.

Also, who wouldn't want to marry their prince/princess charming. There's a reason they're named that and people don't want to marry prince/princess jerkface.
And those original authors were just echoing the general sentiments of the day in which they wrote.
Old 02-21-13, 05:33 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers
Why blame Disney for much of this when they're just using stories that already existed and they just turned them into movies? Blame the original authors if someone wants to blame anyone.
To be fair, it's not like Disney has ever felt compelled to remain loyal to the source material when it doesn't fit what they want to do. That is to say, Disney is well known for making drastic changes to the original stories. Many people are surprised when they read the original stories after growing up with the "Disneyfied" version. As Ash pointed out, Andersen's original The Little Mermaid (to take one example) actually ends with Ariel killing herself.

(Not that I would ever criticize Disney for that particular change.)
Old 02-21-13, 07:50 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by Sondheim
To be fair, it's not like Disney has ever felt compelled to remain loyal to the source material when it doesn't fit what they want to do. That is to say, Disney is well known for making drastic changes to the original stories. Many people are surprised when they read the original stories after growing up with the "Disneyfied" version. As Ash pointed out, Andersen's original The Little Mermaid (to take one example) actually ends with Ariel killing herself.

(Not that I would ever criticize Disney for that particular change.)
That's certainly true: writers and studios certainly muck with source material when it suits them. Since we're talking about the Cinderella story, look at Ever After. Everyone's bad and unnecessary accents notwithstanding, that time around the writers at least tried to empower both the hero and the heroine (we can argue about the degree to which it was successful but at least they tried). I've often wondered whether Disney writers chose "old-fashioned" stories just so they'd have cover for their jacked up gender politics. See, now I want to go back and watch Cinderella. Seriously, who thought this would be the film that garnered the most discussion in the thread!

ntnon, to answer your question that wasn't even directed at me but I wanted to chime in anyway: I think Buffy is certainly a feminist text in some respects but it's not nearly as progressive as folks like to portray it as being. I never watched Xena so can't speak on that.
Old 02-21-13, 07:58 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

I watched RASHOMON (1950), the first Japanese film to both be nominated for an Oscar and receive one (an Honorary Award). Then I read the short story it's based on. I bought the book, "Rashomon and Other Stories," thinking that the story, "Rashomon," was indeed the story the film was based on. Wrong! The story it's based on is called "In a Grove" and fortunately is also in the book. The "Rashomon" story in the book deals with an incident at the title gate, which is used as the setting for part of the film (where the woodcutter, the priest and the other guy congregate), but what happens in the short story called "Rashomon" is not used in the film.

The film adds more to the proceedings, including one whole eyewitness account that's not in the story, plus the gathering at the gate and the discovery made at the end, all added to the film.
Old 02-21-13, 11:45 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Finally saw The Treasure of the Sierra Madre! From my Letterboxd diary:

Spoiler:
When some glitch-exploiting jerks ruined the Warner Insider Rewards program and led to that being shut down, Warner cashed out our point balance in Blu-ray Discs. I qualified for one freebie, and from the offered pool I selected The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I'd never seen it, but after finally seeing (and loving) Casablanca I was eager to see more Bogey.

I knew little about the film going into it, except that the main characters go off and find gold and then things unravel. I didn't even know this was the movie that gave us the oft-quoted/paraphrased bit, "Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!" It actually took me out of the movie to hear that line delivered, being so familiar with imitations of it but never actually knowing where it originated.

I was also unwittingly already familiar in a way with Bogart's Dobbs. Many years ago, I had an audio cassette of a Star Trek parody called Spock Rock and there was a bit there about how Captain "Quirk" got the job. One of his competitors was a paranoid conspiracy theorist who kept talking to himself in a voice I now realize was meant to be Bogart.

His performance here as Dobbs is commanding. He's likable early in the film, but quickly becomes unpredictable, dangerous and truly menacing. The story essentially announces for us what will come later, which could have cheapened the entire film by making it so predictable. Instead, the film effectively dares us to keep going despite knowing what will occur, confident that we will become captivated by watching it unfold...which is, of course, precisely what happens.

The nearest offhand similarity I can cite would be Leonardo DiCaprio's performance as Howard Hughes in The Aviator. The descent into madness is so enthralling in part because in both cases, we like the guy we first meet and keep hoping he'll go back to being that guy. Instead, Hughes is overtaken by his OCD; Dobbs by avarice and paranoia. Basically, Bogey plays Smeagol/Gollum here.

It was Walter Huston who was nominated for, and won, an Academy Award for his supporting role as Howard. It's easy to see why. He walks a fine line between eccentric and wise, a bit like when Luke Skywalker (and we) first met Yoda on Dagobah. Bogart's performance gives the film its spark, but it's Huston who makes the story work.

This isn't a case of instantly falling in love with a movie for me, though, chiefly because the first half hour or so is so perfunctory. Things happen essentially because the story needs them to have happened, jumping from one bit to the next to construct the context as quickly as possible for how and why our trio comes together for their quest. There's a pronounced feeling of going down a checklist of story points to hit, as quickly as possible.

Still, it's a solid film and though not an instant favorite, it is instantly likable.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre entered my Flickchart at #177/1485

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
21st Academy Awards (1948)
(W) ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE -- Walter Huston {"Howard"}
(W) DIRECTING -- John Huston
(N) BEST MOTION PICTURE -- Warner Bros.
(W) WRITING (Screenplay) -- John Huston
Old 02-22-13, 03:31 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Watched Gattaca (1997) for the first time and came away very impressed. I bought this on a whim and don't regret it at all. Not a real big Ethan Hawke or Jude Law fan but they played their roles well. I did find it interesting how one of the main plots is basically a "macguffin" and becomes minimized. I liked the ideas and themes that were put forth in the film.
Old 02-22-13, 03:33 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
I watched RASHOMON (1950), the first Japanese film to both be nominated for an Oscar and receive one (an Honorary Award). Then I read the short story it's based on. I bought the book, "Rashomon and Other Stories," thinking that the story, "Rashomon," was indeed the story the film was based on. Wrong! The story it's based on is called "In a Grove" and fortunately is also in the book. The "Rashomon" story in the book deals with an incident at the title gate, which is used as the setting for part of the film (where the woodcutter, the priest and the other guy congregate), but what happens in the short story called "Rashomon" is not used in the film.
Intriguing! Sounds like the story behind Blade Runner, where - if I remember right - they brought the rights to an entirely different story (about doctors thieving scalpals for the black market, or somesuch) just to get the title to use with the entirely different story, Do Androids Dream...!
Old 02-22-13, 04:16 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
[The Prince] may be uncomfortable, but not so much that he actually rebels over it. At least Eric in The Little Mermaid complains. Charming just seems like they're interrupting his time for screwing off.
Duty, honor, etc. I got the impression that the whole thing was arranged by the King essentially behind the Prince's back. So what could he reasonably do - throw a tantrum and ask for everyone to be sent home..?! Or suffer through it: "thank you for coming. No, I'm not looking for a wife today, thanks all the same."

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
Surely, it was overwhelming to actually be there amid such luxury. Don't forget also that she was there as an impostor.
No, I disagree - on both counts. I forget precisely what is stated, but her father was a reasonably important guy, wasn't he (Duke, perhaps)? She's neither an imposter - she's the daughter of an "eligible" parent, or the invite would never have been issued - nor unused to the surroundings. That she's spent some unspecified time stuck in the servants' quarters shouldn't cloud the fact of her clearly high-status upbringing.

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
She doesn't just leave him; she runs like hell because it's nearly midnight and she's terrified of being exposed for who she really is.
Not "really is," but certainly exposed - who would want to suddenly be revealed in rags at a society do?! It's nothing to do with not belonging, and everything to do with the perpetual nightmare of being 'naked' in public. It's potentially embarrassing, but because of her look only, not her status. And I don't think that can be argued as sexist - there's a dress code, and she doesn't match up because the stepsisters destroy her home-(mice-)made dress.

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
My point exactly: That's the specific injustice that the fairy godmother chooses to address?
Because that's the first thing the saintly long-suffering girl actually complains about. She takes everything 'on the chin' as it were, until the one time when they actually physically attack her. And that's the specific straw that broke the camel's back.

If you do a hunt for potential sexism, it would probably be more offensive if the fairy godmother stepped in to save the poor dear a) without being asked, and b) from things she could deal with by herself. As it is, the message can easily be read to be: Cinderella had everything under control, and was in charge of her own destiny. She restored herself to her true standing (made her own clothes to get herself back to where she should rightly be), and was only assisted in a relatively minor way when she was physically pushed back into servitude.

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
The suffering, rise-above-it angel is one of the basic paradigms of women in storytelling. The more she suffers and keeps her chin up, the more virtuous she is. It was perpetuated as much by women as by men so it's difficult to establish a patriarchal origin or slant to it, but it very clearly did establish an ideal for femininity. Traditionally, there's been far less demand placed on males to live up to such lofty ideals.
It's a standard trope for both sexes to conceal/have concealed their true nature by unscrupulous/unknowing relatives. It's pretty-much the story of Moses, if you think about it - albeit sort-of in reverse!

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
He wants the woman he met who will fit the shoe. There's no reason for him to suspect that she's really normally a grungy shut-in. We go back to why she fled the scene. Keep in mind, their entire relationship is predicated on that one dance at the ball. If it was strong enough to lead to their Happily Ever After, why didn't she recognize that it was safe to actually be herself before him?
She did and she was. Her "herself" is not a ragged servant, her "herself" is the daughter of a [whatever-he-was]. But she'd have never made it in the door without the expected societal trappings - or "formal wear" (and most jobs have a dress code...) - to demonstrate that.

Really, what was she going to say - 'don't freak out, my dress is about the disappear'?! She didn't flee because she didn't belong, she fled because she'd been told to be back by midnight - she didn't necessarily know quite WHAT would happen then, either.

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
Coulda, woulda, shoulda...didn't... It's not that. It's that she presented herself as above her station, to use an antiquated phrase.
I think you may be being a little obtuse. She is NOT presenting herself as above her station - she's presenting herself as OF her station. She could have, and SHOULD have been able to dress however she pleased and not be treated like a slave, but didn't because of the stepmother. It's not a personal choice - except as she sees it as a duty to her father's choice of wife - it's a forced role. Are you really arguing that her role as servant is her "true" and reasonable role? And are you suggesting she should have rebelled against it... how would that have gone? Run away - be on her own and die of exposure. Resist - and be locked in her room forever. Complain - to whom? She does what she must, but never forgets who she really is - she just needs a small amount of help when she is forcibly kept down.

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
I never argued that Disney or any other company is "evil" or insidious for circulating those kinds of norms in their stories. They're a reflection of the taste of the public at any given time. During wartime, we get stories about heroism on the battlefield. In peacetime, we get stories about the folly of war. So it goes.
Sorry, a general complaint - not directed at you. Hope that came across!

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
If/when I ever get around to watching [Buffy and Xena], I'll let you know!
Alright! I'm always interested in opinions about those kinds of alleged-feminist icons, which so often attract criticism and praise in equal message from the same people for being both great role models and awful examples of male-dominated society (etc.).

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
That's why I saved it for last! :P
Old 02-22-13, 04:21 AM
  #319  
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by lisadoris
See, now I want to go back and watch Cinderella. Seriously, who thought this would be the film that garnered the most discussion in the thread!
Just trying to lower the tone down to a level I can actually understand.

Originally Posted by lisadoris
ntnon, to answer your question that wasn't even directed at me but I wanted to chime in anyway: I think Buffy is certainly a feminist text in some respects but it's not nearly as progressive as folks like to portray it as being. I never watched Xena so can't speak on that.
Thanks, I appreciate any and all opinions on these subjects. I never watched either, although I keep meaning to catch up (and have started, thanks to Challenges here!) because they seem like 'my sort' of entertainment. But I'm also intrigued by the politics and societal factors - and how they're viewed by a variety of people. There seem to be relatively few programmes like those two that attract such vehement support and critique for the same factors and elements!
Old 02-22-13, 04:39 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

On the "another time, another set of values," just watched the 1937 short "Penny Wisdom". To quote a phrase I didn't quite understand: "what a mucklehead!"

It actually played out like an episode of (UK semi-gameshow) Ready, Steady, Cook, with added Harry Enfield ('know your place!'), and Delia Smith - actual cooking hints and tips from Prudence Penny of the Los Angeles Examiner.

Quite amusing - apparently Baked Alaska was a novelty that needed explaining - and the style was interesting: the (male) narrator did most of the talking on everyone's behalf.
Old 02-22-13, 09:48 AM
  #321  
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

To make sure I saw something from the '90s, I watched UNDER SIEGE last night, which also gets me in the mood for the upcoming Action/Adventure/Crime Challenge. I wish we could have the two challenges overlap in the last 4 days of February (Mon.-Thurs., Feb. 25-27), so I could watch Oscar-nominated action films in those four days. I have quite a few I haven't yet watched this month: Blu-rays of ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE WILD BUNCH, and DVDs of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, THE DIRTY DOZEN, THE SEVEN SAMURAI, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, among many others, as well as VHS copies of THE FRENCH CONNECTION, THE GODFATHER, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, BRAVEHEART, JACKIE BROWN, etc.

So now I've seen things from every decade from the 1920s to the 2000s. All that's left is the 2010s. I can either go out tonight and catch a current nominee like ZERO DARK THIRTY or go home and watch my Blu-ray of UNSTOPPABLE.
Old 02-22-13, 12:54 PM
  #322  
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

I've got nine check marks remaining. I just checked out It Happened One Night from the library, which will knock out a third of them. I may go back tomorrow and check out All Quiet on the Western Front for the 20s, but they only had that on VHS and I have to see how big a hassle it's going to be to hook up my VCR (and whether it even still works properly).

Gonna go out in a bit and rummage through the clearance DVDs at Half Price Books for something that might count for the 20s.
Old 02-22-13, 01:00 PM
  #323  
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
Finally saw The Treasure of the Sierra Madre! From my Letterboxd diary:


The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
21st Academy Awards (1948)
(W) ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE -- Walter Huston {"Howard"}
(W) DIRECTING -- John Huston
(N) BEST MOTION PICTURE -- Warner Bros.
(W) WRITING (Screenplay) -- John Huston
Nice! I finally saw that for a challenge last year. Liked it, didn't love it.
Old 02-22-13, 04:17 PM
  #324  
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Well, kids, I'm pretty much done....made my 30 features goal and will rent the Live Action shorts on VOD tonight, but I'm taking tomorrow and Sunday morning to get ready for the show (with a pitstop for the Independent Spirit Awards tomorrow night).

Decided to end my journey with one of Oscar's biggest losers, "The Turning Point", which is such a product of the 70s! Fairly good, but plays like a Lifetime cable movie with A-list talent. Has that hazy glow of a Vaseline smeared lens. Good choice for some fun if you have time to kill and can find it.
Old 02-22-13, 05:33 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by Mao
Decided to end my journey with one of Oscar's biggest losers, "The Turning Point", which is such a product of the 70s! Fairly good, but plays like a Lifetime cable movie with A-list talent. Has that hazy glow of a Vaseline smeared lens. Good choice for some fun if you have time to kill and can find it.
I unintentionally watched that shortly before Black Swan came out. I thought it made Black Swan somewhat more enjoyable since The Turning Point went into more detail on certain aspects that Black Swan only lightly touched.

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